Rachel Crawford Imlah, 71, of Markham St., Middletown, widow of Donald Imlah, died Monday July 30, 2012.
She was born in Ashville, NC, a direct decedent of one of the town’s founders, Robert Hamilton, and a daughter of the late Grover Lee Crawford and Arlene Price Crawford. A painter and photographer, Rachel started drawing at two and oil painting at six, studying for a decade under private tutors in the South, Southwest, and Japan. At sixteen, she received a commission from World Book Encyclopedia and began engineering studies at The University of Texas at El Paso. Then, she studied at The Academy of Fine Arts in Naples, Italy, and received her BA in 1962 from Furman University.
For decades, her images were displayed in numerous solo and group shows in the US and abroad as well as in private collections in ten countries. In 1999, her work was published in North Light Book’s Best of Floral Painting 2. Inspired by living near the Red Sea in the 1970’s, later in life she photographed seashell mollusks. Her beautiful images reflected knowledge of subtle distinctions of some 100,000 species. She taught art, had commissions as cartoon editor and cartoonist for two university newspapers, was a sociopolitical cartoonist for the World Bank, curated The First Annual Saudi Arabian Beaux Arts Exhibition at the King’s Pavilion, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, authored a book on seashells, and served on the Middletown Art Guild’s Board. In addition to her sister, she is survived by nieces, nephews and many cousins.
Funeral services are private and burial will be at the convenience of her family. There are no calling hours. Those who wish may send memorial contributions to the ASPCA.